Pressure from Petrohawk helps cancell World Oil column

In an act of extraordinary courage, a top Petrohawk executive threatened to cancel his free subscription to World Oil if the magazine continued to publish my column. Today, John Royall, President and CEO for Gulf Publishing, cancelled my November column.

I have accordingly resigned as contributing editor.

I greatly enjoyed the nearly three years that I have written for World Oil. I especially appreciated working with Editor Perry Fischer who never questioned the content that I chose for my columns, and always emphasized accuracy and intellectual honesty. I know that he got a lot of pressure because of my position on shale plays but never wavered in his support. Thanks, Perry.

Thanks also to my many readers for their interest, willingness to write and call, and to both challenge and support. Special thanks to Lynn Pittinger for his incredibly valuable collaboration during the past few months.


  • Arthur, thank you sincerely for the fabulous work you did at World Oil. I hope you will continue to post here on the web.

  • elwood

    threatened to cancel his free subscription!!!! one can’t get much more courageous than that. i can’t speak for the oil drum, but im pretty sure you would be welcome there.

  • Anonymous

    “The prudent sees the devil and hides himself, but the niave go on and are punished for it” Proverbs 22:3

  • Anonymous

    Publish the column online yourself and those of us in the industry who think it’s worth reading will distribute it via e-mail and ensure that it gets the attention it deserves

  • I am very sad to hear this, since yours is a voice that the industry should listen to, and which it and the general public needs to be more aware of.

    Best wishes

  • Anonymous

    Please keep publishing your work. There are some of us in the industry who are quietly listening….and positioning accordingly.

  • Thanks for the work you did there, Arthur.

    Entrenched interests will always defend themselves from people they feel threaten them. What’s happened to you is not rare at all.

    The trick is to see that you are now freed up to create something new, something even better than what you left.

    I’m looking forward to learning whatever you do next :-).

  • So much for World Oil – cowards. Your analysis is thorough and incredibly needed to counter the mostly selfserving hype of vested interests. This hype is dangerous as silver bullet aficionados will eagerly grasp at any straws to avoid having to look at the fundamental problems with the unstainable trajectory of BAU.

  • sorry…make that “unsustainable trajectory of BAU”

    Many thanks for you very important insights

  • Very brave, good work, Art.

    Peter Wang, PG
    Texas Registered Professional Geoscientist

  • Rick Munroe

    I was most impressed with your presentation at ASPO-Denver. At a time of such exuberance over shale gas, your call for caution and a balanced examination of the more sobering facts was right on.
    You made your points carefully, reasonably and respectfully… nothing that should have offended or upset anyone.
    Your departure is World Oil’s loss, and one wonders, will Matt Simmons be next?
    It’s a sad (and dangerous) situation when the only acceptable viewpoint is the optimistic one.

    Keep up the excellent work, Art.

    – Rick Munroe
    National Farmers Union
    Howe Island, Ontario, Canada

  • Art – perhaps it is time to talk more to the customers who need your cautionary messages. John Rowe at Exelon – a company that is well positioned in case of a quick rise in gas prices – is calmly telling electric utilities that gas is the right way to go for power generation for the next ten years.

    I pity the independent suppliers who listen to the ANGA marketing messages and fail to see the depletion graphs. It is a situation ripe for another Calpine disaster or a replay of the California electrical market challenges of 2000-2001.

    Rod Adams
    Publisher, Atomic Insights
    Host and producer, The Atomic Show Podcast

  • you have balls. I like balls. Can I rub your balls?

  • Coming from a techie who lives in Fort Worth, I think it’s heating up. I own a bunch of shale related domain names and just recently started to get a lot of interest for them.

    Here are a few. – sold to … Energy – sold to … Energy – sold to … Energy

    and many more.

  • Rob Tyrrell


    Shortsighted and too bad. My private company has interests in the Woodford, for good or bad, and I wish I had had your insight prior to investing there. There still is upside but current pricing doesn’t encourage it.

    But I need to know, when did Aubrey McClendon go to work for Petrohawk ?

  • Anonymous

    Author: check your SPELLING. You’ve got a double-l on the word ‘cancel’ in the title.

    Being able to spell does magic for your credibility as a writer.

  • Rick Andrewws

    Art Berman and Perry Fischer were largely responsible for elevating readership of World Oil with their stimulating research and opinions of shale gas resources. Right or wrong, their editorial comments and interpretations are vital to the energy industry; provocative subjects always stimulate additional consideration thereby enhancing our understanding of such matters even more. With the resignation and firing of Art Berman and Perry Fischer (respectively), I have little desire to read World Oil. Phantomed and sensationalized articles commonly published in many trade magazines regarding new plays or technology do little for the well-being of our energy industry.

    World Oil should know that the true test of Berman’s and Fischer’s editorials will reside in corporate balance sheets of energy companies such as Petrohawk and others who have focused interests in shale-gas. Have you seen them lately?? To “bully up” on someone simply because a few large (publicly-funded) companies do not like what Berman/Fischer said about their core operating area is biased, unprofessional, and short-sighted. The highly publicized premise of the Haynesville and other shale-gas plays will be tested in time. With little data, it is important now to have multiple hypotheses on production estimates rather than blindly accepting numbers from self-serving sources.

  • Anonymous

    I just discovered that you are no longer writing your column for World Oil. That’s a pity, your column and your other articles were the first things I would read in my World Oil. My view was that you have lots of experience behind you as a professional geologist and that you provided a balanced view and insights into some emerging plays including the shale gas play. I was looking forward to seeing in World Oil your view on the rapidly expanding pre-salt play in Brazil. Well, what more can I say? All the best. Tako Koning Tullow Oil
    Luanda, Angola

  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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